During the month of September, we showcased real stories from real AWAL members on the blog to celebrate our involvement with BBC Introducing hosts Amplify. Because we received so many outstanding stories from our incredible artists, we've decided to keep the series rolling beyond the event!
Here, our members share their stories — the challenges they’ve faced, how they’ve overcome them, the milestones they’ve achieved, and where they hope the future leads.
This week, we're speaking with London-based singer/songwriter — Espa.
Can you tell us a bit about where your artistic journey began?
My passion for music and artistic beginnings really come from growing up around my grandad, who played trombone with Frank Sinatra and Shirley Bassey! His career made me want to be a singer who's also a bad-ass musician.
What stage of your musical journey are you in now?
Right now, I'm putting out music unsigned and trying to create online buzz. I'm also writing music and learning how to make my own videos.
What have been some of the biggest challenges you've faced so far?
It's an ongoing struggle to be a female musician and be taken seriously, but being the first female to study music and composition at the Royal Academy of Music in 20 years was a great step in being able to hold my own in the studio environment, and it's set me up well. It was hard work, and I'm still studying new stuff all the time.
Also, being in a challenging management situation where they wanted me to lose weight, etc. was hard to maintain my sense of self, but I came through the other side stronger.
What have been some of the most rewarding moments in your career so far?
Winning a Rising Star Award (in pop) at the London Music Awards as an unsigned artist in 2015 was an affirming moment.
Any major milestones on the horizon?
Like most artists, I think signing a publishing deal would be amazing. And I'm really looking forward to building an audience online.
What are some of your ultimate goals for your music career?
Tour globally, and make records that mean something to my audience. To break the current musical trend of unattainable perfection and be commercially successful being my imperfect self. I believe the industry/world needs this.
How has your experience with AWAL been so far?
They have distributed an EP and single of mine. They've been fab as an unsigned artist!!
The best outlets for artists to learn from are from other artists! Sign up to the AWAL Weekly and see how AWAL artists like Espa are conquering the grind and finding success!